Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from the horror drama television series The Walking Dead, which airs on AMC in the United States and is based on the comic book series of the same name. He was created by writers Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice and is portrayed by Norman Reedus. The character was introduced in the first season as a Southern expert tracker who constantly lives in the shadow of his brother, Merle. Despite his ill temper and volatility, he is tolerated by the core group of survivors due to his skills in hunting animals and fearless efficiency in killing zombies (dubbed "walkers" in the series).
After Merle's disappearance, Daryl begins to shed his aloof personality and starts to bond with the group. The character eventually becomes the cooperative right-hand man and protector of protagonist Rick Grimes and leads several supply runs. He is one of the longest-surviving characters of the television series. According to Reedus, Daryl is an 'anti-hero'.
Daryl is one of the few characters that does not have a counterpart in the comics. His origin is explored in the 2013 video game The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. The character was featured in a Super Bowl XLVII commercial for Time Warner Cable. Reedus was initially a member of the recurring cast, before he was upgraded to a series regular in the second season. For his performance as Daryl, Reedus won the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Hero in 2014 and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television in 2011.
Fictional character biography
In their childhood, Daryl and his older brother, Merle, lived with an abusive, alcoholic father, Will. He was raised by Merle, though Merle was often away (sometimes serving time in juvenile institutions). Daryl spent significant periods of time alone and, throughout these lonely periods, learned to fend for himself and adopted a hard-boiled survivalist mindset.
While it is implied in season 1 that he may share his brother's racist beliefs, they are not apparent. This suggests that he may have overcome them after being forced to work with the group. However, the motorcycle that Daryl rides throughout much of season 2 bears an insignia used by the Schutzstaffel that is commonly featured in Nazi and white supremacistideology, but is also a common motif in biker culture with no intended racist overtones,worn for shock value, as a rejection of conventional social values, and as part of the culture that started with biker gangs of the 1940s and 50s, which often consisted of World War II veterans who wore the German helmets and uniform accessories they had brought back from Europe. In season 2, Daryl states to Dale that the motorcycle was Merle's by saying "Keep your dirty, oily rags off my brother's motorcycle". In the final episode of season 2, he jokes that he could identify Glenn by his driving, due to Glenn being Asian (a joke which Glenn laughs off). Daryl usually has a serious demeanor, but occasionally makes wry comments and jokes to break the tension. By season 3, he has become a responsible, trusted and loyal member of the group. His priorities are tested when he learns that his brother is still alive and working for an opposing group.
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